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Thunder, Bulls do battle in Windy City

10:46 AM, Nov 8, 2012   |    comments
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(Sports Network) - The Oklahoma City Thunder try to win consecutive games for the first time this season tonight when they visit the Chicago Bulls at the United Center.

The Thunder have alternated losses and wins, but after Tuesday's 20-point victory at home over the Toronto Raptors, they can get above .500 for the first time this young season.

Oklahoma City has a phenomenal record after losses since the start of last season (17-3). Six different Thunder players recorded double-figures in scoring against the Raptors, which only happened three times all of last season.

"Offensively, I thought everybody participated, everybody got involved," said head coach Scott Brooks. "The passing, the ball movement was outstanding. The shot selection was good."

But the Thunder are, as always, led by Kevin Durant.

In each of the team's first three games, Durant scored 22-plus points, grabbed 12 or more rebounds and recorded five or more assists. He became the fourth player in NBA history to post such numbers through the first three games of a season, then managed only 15 points with six rebounds and three assists in Tuesday's balanced attack.

The Thunder will have their collective hands full with a Bulls team that is 2-1 at home this season.

On Tuesday, they handed the Orlando Magic their first loss of the season with a 99-93 triumph. Chicago is off to a solid start this campaign, especially with the absence of former MVP Derrick Rose.

But remember this about Rose in street clothes -- the Bulls went 18-9 without him during the regular season in 2011-12. They are doing it with their trademark of the Tom Thibodeau era, defense.

The Bulls haven't given up more than 93 points in any of their four games this season.

The offense did its part against the Magic. The starting front line of Luol Deng, Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah combined for 55 points, 25 rebounds and five blocks. Taj Gibson and Nate Robinson both had double-figures off the bench.

Perhaps the biggest wild card for the Bulls tonight is what momentum they gain from the election. President Barack Obama was in Chicago Tuesday night to monitor results, but in the afternoon, he played some 5-on-5, with, among others Bulls' legend Scottie Pippen.

"He said it was a pleasure to meet me," said Pippen, who is now the Special Advisor to the President and COO for the Bulls. "I told him, 'Thank you and I wish you well tonight. But if you want to be a winner this afternoon, you better play with me.'"

Obama did, they won, then the President won something slightly larger later that night.

Oklahoma City has won two of the last three and three of the last five against the Bulls.

The Sports Network

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